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Guyana vs. Panama: Concacaf Gold Cup Prediction and Preview

Guyana vs. Panama: Concacaf Gold Cup Prediction and Preview

Guyana vs. Panama: Concacaf Gold Cup Prediction and Preview

The South American nation of Guyana (0-1-0, 0 points) is playing in the Concacaf Gold Cup for the first time. And after facing Team USA in their opening game within Group D earlier this week, they definitely got the rookie welcome in the form of a 4-0 loss. Now they face another tough test from Panama (1-0-0, 3 points), who posted a 2-0 clean sheet against Trinidad and Tobago in their opening game. This game opens up the second round of the Group D play.

Guyana vs. Panama

When: Saturday, June 22 at 5:30 p.m. ET

Where: First Energy Stadium (Cleveland)

TV: FS2 and Univision

Three Things to Watch

1. Guyana's rude awakening

While it probably wasn't totally fair to have Guyana start against the defending Gold Cup champions, it was certainly a learning experience. Three of the four goals they allowed came in the second half, they only had four shots against the U.S., only had the ball 42 percent of the time, and were clearly overmatched against the six-time champions. Guyana did, however, produce some positives. They had more steals (18-17), more corner kicks (4-3), and only had seven fouls called against them compared to the 18 that were called against the United States. Now Guyana hopes to take those positives and turn them into a win.

2. Panama is on a roll

The Panamanians are now 5-2-4 in their last 11 Gold Cup games with 13 goals scored along the way. They've also held those same 11 opponents to just eight goals combined. Panama is just 13-37-9 against South American teams, but on paper, appear to has the advantage over Guyana. Still, the Panamanian team must prepare for whatever adjustments the first-time Gold Cup participant makes heading into this matchup.

3. Inside the numbers

While this is Guyana's first Gold Cup appearance they are no strangers to Concacaf nor its members. The opener against the U.S. was the South American nation's 152nd game within the confederation. Their record against Concacaf opponents now stands at 51-68-31, including 1-7-1 against Central America. This also is just the second time these two counties have ever faced each other. If Guyana defeats Panama, it'll be only the second victory for them over a Central American team.

Final Analysis

Guyana will only get better with time, but first, they must get through these bumps in the road and build up their international experience. Until then, Panama picks up another three points.

Prediction: Panama 2, Guyana 0

— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.